Stunning Black Walnut Crotch

I turn a lot of bowls and have been lucky to have access to great wood and burls. Some of the wood I use arrives unexpectedly from former woodturning students and friends. Some months ago a load of black walnut logs and crotches arrived from Jay, a former student, and I have been turning them slowly durning the pandemic. The following crotch was was marked with a spike to show the vertical axis of the visualized bowl. I trimmed this crotch in a circular pattern centered on the spike. The resulting trimmed piece is shown attached to my lathe. The plan is to turn a bark edged bowl that contains the centers of the branches of the crotch.

This choice will put the branch centers (piths) in the sides of the bowl. This is always a bit risky since the pith of a log will often crack as a green turned bowl dries, however, having the circular pattern in a bowl looks beautiful. I have learned how to dry wood to minimize cracking and black walnut wood is not prone to cracking as it dries from my experience. The bowl turned from this piece is now dry and shown in the images below. The bowl is 10" in diameter, 7" in height, with a 5/16" wall thickness. The bottom of the bowl was re-turned and the bowl sanded to 600 grit. I am posting these images since this bowl is beautiful with its salt and pepper look, amazing grain figuring and colors. There is also a lot of flame figuring (chatoyance) in this bowl but this phenomenon never shows well in photos. Enjoy the beauty but you really need to see it in person and hold it in your hands. It is for sale and in my Hovland shop.


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